Gas engineer displaying his ID card

Unsafe Situations Procedure: what’s new?

Gas Safe Register’s Open Channel live discussion in February was all about the updates to the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure. The procedure, which was revised in January 2021, has evolved based on feedback from gas engineers themselves, as well as the wider industry, said Dave Bendle, chair of the Unsafe Situations Committee.

The document’s aim is to create a robust way for gas engineers to make a risk assessment on their particular situation. It has evolved as the situations that gas engineers and Gas Safe Register inspectors find have changed over time, and the revised procedure brings further clarity on key areas. These include RIDDOR reporting, the tables that provide examples of the situations that engineers might find, an updated flowchart to help gas engineers choose the correct classification, and information about how to report unsafe workmanship that is not reportable under RIDDOR.

The Open Channel panel explained that the update helps to clarify the requirements of what and how to report under RIDDOR. They said that considering the potential outcome of the installation or appliance in front of them should help to guide gas engineers as to whether they should report under RIDDOR or whether they should report unsafe workmanship to Gas Safe Register to be investigated and dealt with. Rob Denman, Gas Safe Register’s head of Technical, said: “To report unsafe gas work to Gas Safe Register, you can now log into your online account and notify this, and Gas Safe Register will follow up.”

There’s a new section that deals with reporting the theft of gas, providing information on who to inform, even if the situation is not unsafe.

The updates to the procedure have been shaped by the experiences of working gas engineers and from organisations in the industry, including Gas Safe Register. Rob Denman highlighted that some of the updates have come as a direct result of calls that registered engineers have made to the Register’s Technical Helpline, and from information gathered through its inspections, investigations and complaints, and from RIDDOR.

IGEM’s Ian McCluskey said: “IGEM wanted to draw out clarity on RIDDOR and on what is required of a visual inspection.”

The updates will have an impact on training and assessment too. Trevor Smallpeice, representing the Standards Consultation Forum, says it’s essential that training and ACS reflect what’s in the procedure. This highlights the importance of the panel that puts together the updated procedure receiving information from as wide a range of industry organisations and engineers as possible.

You can download the updated Unsafe Situations Procedure here and from your Gas Safe Register online account, and the updated hard copy book is due to be published in March 2021 by the Gas Safety Shop. A new app will be available soon too.

We’ll be looking at the Unsafe Situations Procedure in more detail in the April 2021 edition of Registered Gas Engineer magazine.

You can see this discussion and previous Open Channel live events by joining the Open Channel from Gas Safe Register group on Facebook.

The Open Channel Panel in February 2021 was:
Scott Darroch, Head of Strategic Communications & Engagement, Gas Safe Register
Rob Denman, Head of Technical, Gas Safe Register
Dave Bendle, Chair, Unsafe Situations Committee
Ian McCluskey, Head of Technical and Policy, IGEM
Trevor Smallpeice, Standards Consultation Forum

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